Posts by tag: Grey Market

Kawasaki July 18, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1995 Kawasaki ZXR400R for Sale

Although bikes in the 400cc class are virtually unknown in the USA, they were big business elsewhere, with bikes like the Honda CBR400 and VFR400, Yamaha FZR400, and today's Featured Listing Kawasaki ZXR400R competing in showrooms and race series for the hearts and hard-earned money of sportbike enthusiasts. Here in the US, it is 600s that are generally thought of as the lightweight, "beginner" sportbikes, and anything smaller than that is the domain of cheap and cheerful commuters and learner bikes.

Overseas, it was a different story: tiered licensing, heavy taxes, and high gas prices meant there was a great deal of interest in serious motorcycles with smaller displacement. Consider that for Yamaha, the FZR600 was the low-tech model of the range, with a steel beam frame in place of the aluminum Deltabox unit found in the FZR400, FZR750, and FZR1000.

With today's 1000cc superbikes sporting sky-high redlines of more than 13,000 rpm and Yamaha's R6 claiming 16,000 shrieking revs, it's maybe hard to think of a bike with a 14,500 rpm redline as being "high-strung" but the 398cc inline four in the ZXR400R needs to be worked hard to make speedy progress, which is completely in keeping with the bike's sporting mission. Produced between 1989 and 1999, there were basically two versions of the bike, the earlier "H" bikes and the later "L" version. The H bikes made 61hp while the L made a few more horses at a higher rpm, with a slight loss in torque. The H model weighed a bit less than the L at 350lbs dry and the bike had a top speed north of 140mph.

Today's Featured Listing has fairly low miles and appears to be in excellent condition, aside from some minor cosmetic issues expected of a bike that's been ridden. Best of all: it does have a valid title and is registered for road use!

From the Seller: 1995 Kawasaki ZXR400R for Sale

Up for sale is a VERY RARE 1995 Kawasaki ZXR400R in collector quality condition with only 16,267 kilometers (10,107 miles). It has a few tiny rub marks and a couple of small scratches from its 10,000 mile journey thru life but overall its in MINT condition. After thorough inspection, I can tell that this bike has been loved and cherished over the years. It is in completely stock unmolested condition.  All fairings and components are 100% OEM factory Kawasaki. Brand new Bridgestone Battlax tires have been installed front and rear. Bike runs like the day it was new. This ZXR comes with a Utah state title and is titled as a street bike for road use. I have set the purchase price at $10,500 because my last 1993 ZXR400R sold on Ebay for $10,450 in the "your choice" auction with the GSXR400RR. Serious buyers can contact me at 801-358-6537 for more pictures or any other questions you may have. $500 deposit thru PayPal due immediately after sale.

The seller is asking $10,500 for this fizzy little monster. Obviously, that's not a whole lot of bang for your buck if you consider it in purely performance terms, and the ZXR400 isn't quite as iconic as something like the NC30. But these are exceedingly rare here in the USA and if you're a die hard Kawasaki lover or a fan of motorcycle exotica, this will probably fill a large [figuratively], green hole in your collection. If you notice any other bikes in the background, we have been told they are for sale as well.  Skip the line before they get listed publicly! Everything must go!

-tad

Featured Listing: 1995 Kawasaki ZXR400R for Sale
Yamaha July 7, 2017 posted by

Two-Stroke Hooligan: Cali-Titled 1989 Yamaha TDR250 for Sale

This bike got me excited because Practical Sportbikes has been doing a project Yamaha TDR250 over the past few months, and up until I saw it, I had no idea the bike even existed. You say it's not a sportbike? I say if it's in Practical Sportbikes, it qualifies! So what exactly is a TDR250? Well basically it's the parallel-twin from the TZR250 in a supermoto-style machine, with different tuning to suit the bike's new mission.

Weight was right in line with the TZR at just a shade north of 300lbs dry, and the claimed 50hp is pretty close as well, helped by the same Yamaha Power Valve System. The supermoto set up means you'd probably lose out to a TZR on track, but the TDR would probably be faster just about everywhere else. Certainly, the riding position would be a damn sight more comfortable than the racer-crouch required for the TZR...

This particular example has obviously been enthusiast-owned, and the listing includes details of recent engine work, updates to the suspension, wheels and brakes, although he doesn't mention where he got that banana swingarm. It's not really necessary here with the undertail pipes but it does look pretty cool. Maybe it came from the RS250 that donated the rear wheel? This TDR is not perfectly original or in pristine cosmetic condition, so it won't be of much interest to anyone looking for a museum-quality collectible, but these really aren't all that valuable yet anyway in the rest of the world. The main thing driving the price for this one is likely the novelty and that very desirable California title.

 

From the original eBay listing: Cali-titled 1989 Yamaha TDR250 for Sale

Engine is parallel twin TDR250 (TZ250)case induction 2-stroke 50+ hp.6-speed

  • Low mile bottom end (under 5k mi) pressure tested, excellent condition.
  • New pistons, rings, clutch plates, petcock, YPVS bushings, gaskets.
  • RZ500 cylinder barrels-standard bore (newly run in, just over 50 miles presently on new hone).
  • Relocated YPVS actuator to center RZ500 position with stock housing/adjustment.
  • RZ500 kick start arm
  • TDR250 head tuned by Stan Stephens in the UK.
  • Standard exhaust with black chrome powder coated guards and custom spigot covers.
  • Pre-mix injector pump installed,adjusted and in good working order,but currently 40:1 Motul racing synthetic, premixed as a personal preference.Easy to mix in and good insurance.

Chassis

  • Aprilia RS250 road racer front and rear wheels and complete rear Brembo brake caliper/mount.
  • GSX-R K6"limited" UD forks with black nitrided sliders/anodized caps and tuned springs
  • Machined and heat powder coated K6 Radial front brake caliper.
  • Custom Goodridge steel braided brake lines front and rear.
  • New non O-Ring gold chain (less drag).
  • New front and rear sealed wheel bearings.
  • New Michelin Pilots
  • Vintage Pro -Taper bars
  • Brembo front master cylinder.
  • NC30 tail light and rear fascia.
  • Extensive powder costing.
  • New yellow stock seat cover with Yamaha labeling included.
  • 2 spare rear sprockets (1 aluminum,1 stock steel) included.
  • Full work shop manual (copy) with original sales brochure included.

Body is standard in good condition as shown, showing minor decal issues (pictured) and some repairs on interiors from an older repaint. Rider quality. Bicycle speedometer is only fairly accurate but legal. Turn signals aren't blinking. (I think the led fronts need bulb style) Finger actuation only for now! Suspension mods have stabilized high speed handling without sacrificing all important "flick ability".

Bikes cylinders are freshly broken in, first kick every time, running great and ever improving, very strong pull with improved head by Stan Stephens.Perfect stock jetting, no plug fouling ever and runs cool, never past just center of coolant gauge even when in powerbaband getting flogged, clutch plates and synthetic oil for perfect "butter"shifting with no slippage. Quiet stock exhaust allows you to rev it with out to much undesirable attention. NO DISAPPOINTMENTS!

Bike is for sale locally, so l reserve option to end at anytime BEFORE reserve is met. Super Rare and desirable model in the U.S.Very collectible and appreciating. Please ask any and all questions, answered ASAP! Japanese and Canadian market bikes, never imported to the states, a lot have ended up in the United Kingdom where new parts and spares are readily available.

Bidding is up north of $5,000 with just about 48 hours left on the auction. In one of its home markets, I doubt it'd ever make near what it looks like it will sell for here, but I bet two-stroke junkies are leaping at the opportunity to pick up this very funky little machine, especially in California where little smokers have a pretty rabid following and road-legal grey market bikes from this era are hard to come by.

-tad

Two-Stroke Hooligan: Cali-Titled 1989 Yamaha TDR250 for Sale
Honda June 25, 2017 posted by

Ride or Restore: 1993 Honda NSR250R SP MC21 for Sale

Some motorcycle enthusiasts are looking for a perfect, time-capsule example of their favorite bikes. Me? I'm glad perfect examples are out there for collectors, but I want something I can ride and enjoy without being worried that a tip-over or low-side or just a few extra miles on the odometer will destroy the value of some pristine collectible. Today's Honda NSR250R SP is a little rough around the edges, with some scratches and scuffs, but it seems like an honest bike, and very solid mechanically.

The NSR250 featured Honda's familiar 90° liquid-cooled 249cc v-twin with a six-speed "cassette" gearbox that allowed owners [or pit crews] to rapidly swap out gearsets to suit different race tracks. Obviously not all that useful on a road bike, but still pretty slick. The NSR may have sucked fuel through a set of carburetors, but it used a very sophisticated PGM-III system that controlled the bike's ignition based on throttle-position, revs, and gear selection.

This particular NSR250R is the desirable MC21 version of Honda's agile two-stroke, as indicated by the asymmetrical "gull-arm" aluminum swing arm that curves on the left-hand side to clear the exhaust's expansion chambers to maximize cornering clearance. The swingarm looks very trick, but helps make the MC21 a little bit heavier than the MC18 that preceded it. Dry weight is still under 300lbs, so even the bike's artificially-limited 45hp will move the bike out smartly, although I'd definitely check with the seller to see if the bike has been de-restricted, as anyone outside Japan will want the bike's full-power available.

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Honda NSR250R SP MC21 for Sale

20,441 Miles (32,898 Kilometers) This is a Very Rare only 900 made Last Model MC21 SP. Mostly original and unrestored.  Perfect opportunity for a budget minded MC21 SP for restoration. All fluids are fresh.  Shifts and revs to redline perfectly.  Starts effortlessly every time. OEM Fairings have hairline scratches and cracks. upper fairing has a broken section near the mirrors and the lower fairing has a section cut out near the expansion chambers along with a couple dents on the fuel tank near the stay, included close up pictures featuring defects. The Red on the tail fairing doesn’t match each other exactly also. No respray or rattle can. Red Magtek wheels are in excellent condition. Otherwise straight from the factory.  Bike has Vin Matching State of Ohio Title as a 1992 model MC21-1070*** “Buyer is responsible for their own State Requirements.”  Imported into the States through all legal channels. EPA and Declaration papers provided.

Bidding is up to $6,500 with about 24 hours left on the auction. If it stays in that neighborhood, it's on the low side for an MC21, but that's in keeping with the less-than-perfect condition. This example is obviously not perfect as described by the seller, but is claimed to be mechanically in good working order. If you're buying one of these and worried about sourcing parts, that may be a weight lifted. Even if you end up on a quest for a perfect set of original bodywork, you can at least ride your machine in the meantime, and this looks like it'd be pretty nice from ten feet, certainly a good place to begin for a restoration. Personally, I'm okay with replacement bodywork, as long as the frame and everything else are clean and straight. Get a decent set of Rothmans replica bodywork from the internet, spend the weekend fitting it, and then ride your little smoker with no fear of destroying a priceless, pristine collectible.

-tad

Ride or Restore: 1993 Honda NSR250R SP MC21 for Sale
Suzuki June 18, 2017 posted by

Full Power: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A Export Model for Sale

The history of the quarter-liter sportbike seems to be one of convergent evolution: twins obviously make sense given the size and capacity, or even triples, if we go back to the 1970s and consider a Kawasaki S1 a "sportbike." But early bikes could be powered by parallel or vee configurations, and by the time the early 1990s rolled around, Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki were all using  90° v-twins backed by six-speed gearboxes. But when the 70° v-twin powered RGV250 VJ23 came along in 1996, it was packing a 70° unit with a dry clutch [and an electric start!], presumably because it's more compact and doesn't increase vibration significantly, compared to a 90° unit with theoretically better balance.

The VJ23 was pretty much the final word in two-stroke performance: the Suzuki-powered Aprilia RS250 continued in production alongside, but used their earlier 90° v-twin engine. Honda's NSR250 was still in production as well, but their MC28 was introduced in 1994 so the VJ23 really does represent the very last generation of two-stroke performance

I'm not a huge fan of the swoopy curves of the VJ23 model, although plenty of two-stroke fans love the very 90s styling. Maybe the graphics aren't helping: the VJ23 definitely looks much cooler in Lucky Strike colors. But you certainly can't argue with the performance available: today's example is claimed to be the full power "export" model, meaning it's not limited per Japanese market rules that restricted power to 45hp on models intended for sale domestically, and 60 claimed horsepower should make this little bantamweight a real rocket, with handling to match.

Experts may want to chime in here: these were supposedly extremely rare in any form, and I'm not clear if this has simply been de-restricted or if it came from the factory with all the horsepower present and accounted for.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A for Sale

Rare 2 stroke bike from Japan!! Suzuki RGV250SP

VIN: VJ23A-1020**
Year: 1996
Mileage: 24,325 km
Condition: Running very well.
It is 60ps of export model!! It was overhauled an engine, brakes, front forks when 20,000km of mileage. It has some scratches, tiny cracks at body work, tiny dent at left under side of gas tank. But still GOOD condition. Belly pan is aftermarket product. Other cowlings are original.

Shipping : We'll put it into the wooden crate and ship by surface. We'll enclose Japanese original title, and also Sales Certificate and Bill of Sales issued by us in English. Shipping cost: The bid price includes shipping cost to overseas, and it's charged from our office in Japan to the nearest port to your address. We expect you'd pick it up at the port and arrange the land transport to your address by yourself. The other cost, such as the handling cost, duty fee, tax, etc. which will be charged in your country, they're not included there.

The Buy It Now price is listed at $9,400 which would seem very reasonable if the bike was here in the USA, considering what nice NSRs are going for these days. Obviously, the fact that this bike is currently in Japan means the buyer will have to deal with all the importation and titling hassles. If you're in a permissive state, that might not be too much of a headache, but for many of us, it remains out of reach, considering the year of manufacture means it's still a few years short of the 25-year mark. Depending on your local DMV, there might be some shenanigans you can pull to get it on the street, but I'd expect this makes the most sense as a collectible or occasional track day ride.

-tad

Full Power: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A Export Model for Sale
Suzuki June 14, 2017 posted by

Fresh Off the Boat: 1988 Suzuki RGV250 VJ21A for Sale

The quarter-liter sportbikes of the 1980s and 1990s might look virtually identical on paper and offer very similar performance, but they all managed to have their own individual character, although that may have been down more to marketing and brand loyalty than any distinct differences. In any event, the Suzuki RGV250Γ had a reputation as a bit of a wild man and may been less refined than the Honda NSR250, but these little machines were all about snarling and snapping and adrenaline anyway. The VJ21 version of the bike seen here didn't have any of the usual acronyms on the fairing, but it does offer "REAL SPRINTER SLINGSHOT" performance. "Slingshot" typically refers to the GSX-R that used Mikuni semi-flat slide carbs that look like a slingshot in cross-section, although I've yet to find a good pic that really shows anything that looks like a child's toy hiding in there... I'm assuming the RGV used similar carburetors to earn that text printed on the tailsection.

Otherwise, the RGV stuck close to the class formula, with an aluminum beam frame, a liquid cooled, 90° two stroke v-twin with power valves and backed by a six-speed gearbox. The later VJ22 had the very desirable banana swingarm, although that also increased weight over the VJ21 seen here. Front wheel is 17" and the rear 18" as was common for the class at the time.  With a sub 300lb dry weight, the 50-ish horses are plenty to move the RGV along at a good clip, assuming you beat the little bike mercilessly.

And that's really the point of the RGV: it was an angry little machine that required and rewarded abuse to make good progress. Tiring for sure, but plenty of fun of fun and, if you love to attack the back roads, bikes like the RGV are your willing accomplice. This example has been freshly imported and is in original, slightly worn condition. The seller includes a video walkaround of the bike here.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ21A for Sale

The bike is imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. This bike is sold without title. NO TITLE. We don't know how to get a title: please ask DMV

Start engine. Original Cowl. Switches and lights working. Oil leak on front fork. No battery. Some scratches and rust  So look carefully all pictures and video. Some touch-up painting. This motorcycle is 29 years old. Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return. 20,456 km (12,710 miles)

Buyer responsible for vehicle pick-up or shipping to your location. You can check Your Shipping Cost. (Item in Carson, CA now. Our Zip code 90745)

If anyone wants to come see the motorcycle. Please contact me.

I can pretty much tell you what the DMV will say, at least here in California: "Sorry bub. No title for you. Have you seen the great number of very nice race tracks we have where you can ride your for-off-road-use-only motor vehicle?" Obviously, this is not a pristine, collector-quality motorcycle in its current state, but it is straight, with relatively low miles. It'll obviously need some attention if you plan to actually ride it on the road, but that shouldn't surprise anyone shopping for a 1980s motorcycle. We've see plenty of Honda NSR250s up for sale over the past couple years, but the RGV is still pretty rare around here. Is this slightly worn example worth the $3,500 starting bid? There's not much time left on the auction, so it might be a good time to jump in if you've been looking for an RGV and have bags of cash lying around to bribe that guy you know down at the DMV...

-tad

Fresh Off the Boat: 1988 Suzuki RGV250 VJ21A for Sale
Suzuki May 25, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale

 

Today's Featured Listing Suzuki RGV250 is part of the rare and weird collection that the seller has been liquidating over the past few weeks. It may not be museum-quality, but it has obviously been well cared-for and would make a great weekend rider, assuming you live somewhere it can be titled. Rare and desirable here in the USA, Suzuki's RGV250Γ was basically the GSX-R of two-stroke sportbikes: it was fast, a bit wild, and ubiquitous in markets where it was sold new.

But here in the USA, these little Gammas are extremely difficult to find. Go looking for a Honda NSR250 at any given time, and you'll likely come up with at least something. But RGVs are pretty few and far between, in any condition. In fact, here in the US, the closest many of us may have come to the RGV is the Aprilia RS250 that is much more common and uses the same engine, with some minor tuning and cosmetic differences. 

The 250cc two-stroke sportbikes of the period seemed cut from the same cloth, although each managed to have its own character: light and stiff aluminum beam frame, liquid-cooled two-stroke parallel or v-twin engine, some form of power valve technology, a six-speed gearbox, sub-300lb dry weight, and lots of proprietary acronyms plastered across the fairings. In this VJ22's case you'll note "SAPC" or "Suzuki Advanced Power Control," an electronic power valve and ignition timing system to boost the 55-ish horsepower 90° twin's meager midrange. Earlier VJ21s had 17" front and 18" wheels, updated here in the VJ22 to a pair of 17" hoops that should give a wider choice of modern rubber. Weight for the VJ22 was up a bit over previous models, largely owing to that beautiful but complex and heavy asymmetrical "banana" swingarm that left space on the right-hand side of the bike for the bulging expansion chambers that fed those sexy shotgun exhausts.

From the seller: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale

Saved the best for last! This will be the last Suzuki RGV250 up for auction. The honey hole is drying up quickly.

Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A with only 8,780 kilometers (5,455 miles) on the odometer. This RGV runs like the day it was new. I don't know the service history but it sure pulls like its been de restricted. Speedometer has been changed to a 300KPH clock so actual mileage is unknown. We see lots of these 250's with speedo's changed from the stock 180kph clocks to 300kph. This RGV has scratches throughout the bike. Tank looks like new. Mirrors and front fender show sun fade. The lower center V-fairing behind the front wheel has a broken tab and has a crack that needs to be fixed. Bike has great curb appeal and looks very nice. Bike comes tastefully upgraded with after market pipes and stingers, aftermarket levers and grips and steel braided brake lines. All fairings are 100% OEM Suzuki factory.

Bike comes with Utah state title and is titled as a Bstreet motorcycle for road use.

Scratches and scrapes throughout. Now there's an honest assessment from the seller, and should give potential buyers a good idea of what to expect here: it's clean, but definitely a used motorcycle. Those Brembo front brakes don't look original but should be a worthwhile upgrade. The levers and grips maybe not so much, but those are easily changed to suit your taste. It isn't perfect but, as stated earlier, might make a great weekend rider or a rolling restoration. You'll have to source parts from overseas, but the internet is a wonderful thing and most of what you need should be available to keep an RGV running.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale